We are citizens of heaven – Tuesday, 5th Week of Easter – Acts 14:19-28/John 14:27-31a

Read also https://www.pottypadre.com/faith-without-falter/ based on the first reading of today taken from the Acts of the Apostles.

Jesus’ death is imminent, yet his concern is for the disciples rather than himself. He reassures them that they will not be alone, and promises to send them the Holy Spirit. Because Jesus will be present with them through the Holy Spirit, his disciples need not be anxious. Chapter 14 begins with Jesus’ exhortation, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1). Now again Jesus exhorts, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid,”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus offers the disciples another gift. He gives them the gift of peace. This gift is offered not only to his immediate disciples but also to all who love him and keep his word (v. 23). Yet this is a peace that is unlike the peace the world gives. This is Jesus’ last will and testament. He had little to leave; even his clothes would soon be the property of the crucifixion squad of soldiers. But there was one thing he could give; the gift of peace.

The Greek word for peace is eirênê, but this is surely a translation of the traditional Hebrew greeting shalom. Shalom was a greeting that passed the lips of any Jew. Jesus took this normal good-bye and filled it with deep strength and meaning. Shalom signifies more than the absence of conflict; it is a profound and holistic sense of well-being. It is the kind of peace which the world cannot give, but can only come from God. This gift of peace accompanies the gift of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus breathes into his disciples as he sends them out in mission (20:22). The peace of this world is often based on distraction or deliberate blindness and lies. Jesus offers a better peace, a real peace.

The world offers us the peace of escapism, of avoiding trouble, of refusing to face things, of unreality as well as the absence of trouble or the denial of problems. The peace of the world is a peace that is sought through pleasure, satisfaction, and contentment. This peace comes from the ruler of the world; satan.

The end is near. “The prince of this world is at hand.” But the apostles are not to worry. Jesus knew that Satan was coming for Him. At that moment Judas Iscariot was arranging the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus could confidently and truthfully say that Satan had absolutely no hook, no foothold, no toehold of deception in Him. Satan could not push Jesus to the cross; Jesus went in loving obedience to God the Father and out of love for the world.

The challenge for us today is to admit confidently that satan has no hook, no foothold, no toehold on us. Even an inch of sin in our hearts means that we have given residence to the prince of this world. As we turn to the Lord, clinging to his promise of peace we are also called to promise that we will live as children of Gods kingdom, in his marvellous light. Today, would be a great day to bring out your spiritual boom. Clear the sin out of your life with one end of the broom while using the other end effectively on satan’s head.

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